Our Purpose

The purpose of this site is to provide free SSDI and SSI information. This site should help those who are contemplating applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income and those individuals who have already applied for Social Security Disability benefits, no matter what stage they are at in the Social Security Disability process. If you have any questions that are not answered by this site or want a free consultation, please feel free to e-mail me at karl@ultimatedisabilityguide.comvisit my law firm's website or call 877-527-5529.  I will try to answer any questions you might have about Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

     My name is Karl Kazmierczak, Esq. I am a Board Certified Social Security Disability Specialist by the National Board of Social Security Disability Advocacy. Please click on the following link for more information on what it means to be a Board Certified Social Security Disability Specialist. I have handled thousands of cases in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

How to Use this site.  If you are new to the process of Social Security Disability, I recommend you start by reading the "disability process."  This page will give you an overview of how your claim is processed and what procedural steps you have to take.  To understand how SSA determines if you are disabled you should read the page, "am I disabled?".  After you read this page, you should follow the different links to get a better understanding of what it takes to prove your disability.  I also strongly suggest you read "how to win" and "key to SSDI and SSI".  There is a lot more information on this site, but this should give you a good starting point to help your claim.
     If you need tips on how to win your SSDI or SSI claim, continue to read this site and bookmark it so you can come back and use it as a reference while you take on the Social Security Disability process. Please note that it is my intention to provide accurate and up-to-date information on this site, as I put in great effort to do this. However, the information on this site is not guaranteed and no lawyer-client relationship exists.  This site is not a substitute for consultation with a lawyer.

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Please email me with any questions or a free consultation.






"Thanks for the site, absolutely a "Bible" for all who have fear, doubt or lack of knowledge." - Christopher
"Is by far the most informative I have found and I did a lot of looking.  Easy to navigate and answered everything I was wondering." - Tom 

"THANK YOU!!!! I just wanted to let you know that by following your advice on your site and with the help of my State Congressman,  I was approved for permanent disability (SSD) in 3mos...   Just saying thank you and keep up your wonderful site."  Alyson
To see what other have said about this website read the website testimonials on the page called "Best Social Security Disability Website".


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Email me for a free consultation.

If you need a lawyer for your Social Security Disability or SSI claim or just want to ask a few questions you can also call me at 1-877-527-5529 and ask for Karl.  Or you can click on the following link and fill out the form if you prefer a local lawyer note that on form.

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Social Security Disability Blog 

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Social Security Disability Decision Says My Testimony Was Not Fully Credible
Were you denied for SSD or SSI at hearing, and did the ALJ state in his decision that you were found to not be fully credible?  I am going to let you in on a little secret.  The ALJ does not actually write the decision in most cases a writer does.  The ALJ makes the decision and then gives the writer a paper with the decision he or she has made and some basic information and then the writer puts it all together using a partially formatted template for a denial.  This means that a good portion of the decision is simply cut and paste.  In most denials you will find that the decision states the claimants testimony was not found to be credible in light of the evidence or something like that.  The reason is because it is required that an ALJ consider the claimants testimony and explain their credibility finding.  If the ALJ does not explain why he found your testimony to not be credible this is grounds for a remand.  So if the ALJ denies your case they must often say they found your testimony to be not credible because if they find it was credible in many cases they would have to approve the claim based on what you said your limitations are.  In reality most decisions are based primarily on the medical evidence and not on the testimony.  This does not mean the testimony in a SSD hearing is not important as ALJs will evaluate the testimony but will do so by comparing what you say with the strength of the medical evidence.  If the ALJ thinks you are exaggerating your limitations this will certainly not help.  The opposite is true as well, if the ALJ finds your testimony to appear very truthful it can certainly help.  Many claimants may feel there is no use in appealing a decision by an ALJ because if the ALJ did not believe them the first time why would they believe them at the second hearing if the case was remanded by the Appeals Council.  If you are able to show the ALJ made a mistake in the first decision or you are able to improve your evidence and you get a remand for a new hearing the ALJ will not remember your past testimony, and they (ALJs) know most denials will contain language that the claimants testimony was not fully credible.  So a chance at a new SSD or SSI hearing is a new chance to prove you are disabled and chances are if you are able to convince the ALJ you are disabled you will probably find the decision will find your testimony was credible or at-least to some extent more credible.   Keep in mind you may have just had a bad ALJ for decisions.  ALJs are like any other person and may have the opinion that almost no one is disabled.  If this is the case, a remand from the Appeals Council can sometimes help allot because the ALJ knows the 2nd decision will have closer scrutiny now that it has been remanded.  If an ALJ is really bad it sometimes takes getting two remands and then you must be given a new ALJ.  If you have quarters left you can also file a new application so you can actually have two cases going on at the same time.  The bottom line is if you cannot work you must continue to appeal and chances are at some point you will get the right person to find in your favor or get the evidence you need to win.  Social Security Disability is very frustrating but try to think of it as a marathon and not a sprint, try and stay positive and keep learning about SSDI and what you have to prove to win and help get the evidence needed to win your claim.  Remember that no one knows or cares about your case more than you so stay active in your case but in a positive way so you can work with your lawyer.  If they found your testimony to not be credible don't think of it as the ALJ calling you a liar but keep in mind it probably has more to do with justifying the denial.
9:14 pm edt 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Treating Doctor Letters and Social Security Disability
Many people have sent me e-mails asking me why they lost their SSD or SSI claim when they have a letter from their doctor saying they are disabled. The truth of the matter is, a letter from your doctor that says you are disabled with little or no explanation is of almost no value in a Social Security disability claim. The issue of disability is for the judge or other decision-maker at Social Security to decide and SSA will be sure to let you know this in the decision. Many doctors write these letters to make their patients happy without actually having to do a full and comprehensive report. I also often see letters from doctors that say there patient can no longer perform their present work. This also has little value because like my first example it is not a detailed report but it also only addresses one step of proving you are disabled. I have also seen many letters that say the patient is limited to light duty or sedentary work. The problem with a letter like this (besides the fact that again is not very detailed letter) is that the doctor's definition of light and sedentary work might be very different than the Social Security Administration's definition of light and sedentary work. I can tell you from experience, that doctors for the most part do not like to write reports or fill out RFC forms for their patients. It takes a good deal of time and they have a very busy job. Some doctors outright refuse to fill out any forms or write reports for their patients. Your best chance of getting a good report or RFC form from your treating doctor is to know what you have to prove to win your case and what information you need from the doctor and be able to explain it to him or her so they can write it one time the proper way so you do not have to ask them a second or third time. This is one reason why I recommend using RFC forms. They explain exactly what Social Security is looking for in an easy to fill out format that makes it much easier for the doctors. Some cases do require a complete and thorough report from your treating doctor in these situations it is best if you leave the request for such a report up to your disability lawyer or representative.
9:38 pm edt 

Monday, May 10, 2010

What new is coming to my Social Security Disability Website.

The Social Security disability lawyers conference takes place this week, and as always, I will report back with any new information that might be of interest to the readers of my website. I am also working on additional content on SSD and SSI and related disability topics for this website. I also plan to redesign my website to make it more aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly so that the visitors to my website will not only have access to great information on Social Security disability law but also be able to find the answers to specific questions they may have. I started this website many years ago and it is starting to show its age. I am not a website designer, but with a little help I will be bringing the Ultimate Disability Guide up-to-date in both looks and usability. It will probably take me several months to complete the new look given the amount information on this website and the time it will take. When I started writing this website on SSDI and SSI I was simply trying to get out free information on disability that was not available anywhere else on the Internet. However, as time went on and my website became more popular I have come to realize that I can do even more. I believe this website already has the best information available on Social Security disability on the Web. My goal now is to not only continue to provide the best information, but also try and make it the best looking and user-friendly SSD website anywhere. So make sure to check back every now and then to see what changes I have been able to make. I hope all mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day and as always I wish you luck with your Social Security disability and SSI claims.

9:21 pm edt 

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 We have attempted to provide up to date and accurate information, however the information in this site is not guaranteed.  No attorney client relationship exist.  The information in this site is not a substitute for consultation with a qualified attorney.
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